East County Sports

Rodieck in sweet spot for Foothillers

Grossmont's Ryan Rodieck scores against Sweetwater. / Nicole Noel - SDFNL

2021 EAST COUNTY PREP FOOTBALL

GROSSMONT 37, SWEETWATER 14

 

EastCountySports.com staff report

 

LA MESA – Grossmont receiver Ryan Rodieck figured to be set up to have a pretty good senior season given the Foothillers’ expectations as one of the county’s best passing offenses.

But after the Hillers’ top pass-catcher from last season left for possibly greener pastures this fall, Rodieck had to figure it was a big chance to shine.

On Thursday night in the 2021 season-opening game at Adams Field, Rodieck caught three touchdowns from senior quarterback Trenton Giles, then threw for a touchdown to receiver Jawad Rivera in the second half, lifting Grossmont to a 37-14 victory over the visiting Sweetwater Red Devils in a game played 101 years after the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

The contest was expected to be the opener in 2020 before the pandemic struck. Ironically, the series began right as the world was coming out of the last major pandemic crisis.

Back the, Sweetwater High’s team nickname was referred in news reports as the “Sweeties.”

Grossmont wraps up against Sweetwater on Friday night. / SDFNL

Sweetwater captain Javier Sanchez had an interception early in the contest to get the Red Devils inside the Grossmont 10. He eventually got the ball past the goal on fourth down for the opening score.

It wasn’t necessarily a scare for the Hillers, although Sweetwater won all five of its spring season games with a potent, multi-directional running game.

The ground game really didn’t have that same success against Grossmont’s defense.

The Foothillers gained good field position several times and ended up making relatively easy work of SuHi’s recent progression.

Giles connected with a wide-open Rodieck for a 30-yard score in the first quarter to give Grossmont a 7-6 advantage.

“After the first drive, we saw that they were leaving the flats pretty much uncovered,” Giles said. “We decided to keep taking what they were giving us and Pudge (Rodieck) made some great plays.”

On Sweetwater’s next punt, senior Gio Burns took a ball on a hop at his own 47 and quickly skirted through his blockers and jetted down near the 10 before being brought down.

From there, Giles threw a swing pass to the left for Rodieck, who easily moved into the end zone for a two-score advantage.

In the second quarter, Giles floated a short pass for Roedick and he did the rest manuvering past Red Devil defenders to the left sideline for a 39-yard score, which send the Foothillers into halftime ahead, 21-6.

“Pudge was a beast out there tonight,” said Grossmont head coach Chris Holmes, who won in his debut as a head man after a decade as a Grossmont Conference assistant. “The guy is a baller. He is a fun talent to watch.

 

A Grossmont player carries behind a blocker on Friday. / SDFNL

In the third quarter, Rodieck was the recipient of a backward pass to the right from Giles, and the receiver ended up throwing a 45-yard touchdown pass to Jawad Rivera, who waited patiently in a back pedal for the aerial to come down near the 5, as he was tackled into the end zone for the score.

“At halftime we drew up the double pass because we suspected they would start biting down on our bubbles and swing routes,” Giles said. “Plus, we wanted to have a little fun, as well.

“We still have a lot to work on but I think it was a great first win for the team.”

In the fourth quarter, Burns almost busted another punt return for a score, taking a boot at his own 44 and returning it over 40 yards before being ruled out of bounds on the right sideline.

From there, the Hillers were able to score on a 4-yard touchdown run from Giles.

“I was really happy with the team getting after it tonight,” Holmes said. “Good opening win but we have to keep working and keep getting better.”

The schedule stiffins quickly for Grossmont, as the El Camino Wildcats come to town next Friday.

 

 

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